The prophet Isaiah proclaims an amazing vision of transformation in chapter 35 (a text that really belongs with "Second Isaiah" of chs. 40-55). It begins with the canvas of the desert and paints the imagery of blooms of renewal - a paradise? This is attributed to the God who comes.
The prophet's vision mixes in people, particularly the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute. All of them experience a liberation from what has precluded their life opprtunity and are brought to rejoicing.
The desert wilderness provides a nature metaphor for the liberating impact of God's loving intervention. Included is the pilgrim's path, the highway which the prophet calls the Way of Holiness. "Wicked fools" and natural predators will not be allowed. The image closes with the joyous celebration of God's liberating love.
In Mary's son in Luke 1, we get a very different impression of the young woman who was visited by an angel, who seemed fearful and hesitant, who submitted to the sacred mystery that had come to her. Here, we have an empowered voice, like a prophet who has developed confidence about what God is doing. Her words are powerful. She is no longer a meek, humble, and confused young lady. She announces the powerful coming of the Lord and the sacred liberation for God's people, a liberation authored in God's love.
Get the whole story in the sermon video below, and note the downloads below the video panel.